Tuesday, June 1, 2010

first meal from the garden: grilled sirloin and mesclun salad

Mescluns! Of all the wonderful foods we owe to the French this is my favorite. We North Americans have embraced this sensation from Provence by creating our own versions and though ours may not be a purist example of the Nicois mesculumo - meaning mixture or mix we have taken hold of the tradition.

This blend comes from West Coast Seeds and is called Oriental Saladini Blend consisting of unusual greens from the mustard family. In this mesculumo are choi sum, komatsuna, mizuna, pac choi, giant red mustard, red lettuce and spinach. 

For a first time gardener mesclumo  is a quick crop to start with.  One month ago the seeds went into the new raised beds and today we celebrate with our first meals.

The romantic notion of back yard food
is a new reality for us. 
Utopian is how it feels.  This was lunch after the morning gardening.  Deciding to harvest was both loss and elation after nursing and protecting the new growth it was a transition from giving to taking but a needed step.

The ability to take kitchen shears and bowl to the backyard plot and harvest salad ingredients is very seductive ...

Now we have good organic greens from zero miles and no packaging. These French Breakfast radishes and a patch of arugula along with fresh
thyme make up the greens for this salad.

Mesclun is a cut and come again crop.  It only requires a bit of feed and water and it will grow another crop.  I use this feed from Gaia Green - an  organic fertilizer, mild and balanced.  This and compost tea along with the rich soil has everything doing well and I'm happy to tell you the greens are splendid.

The cut and come again method of harvesting is done by cutting 1" above the ground . It works like a charm after just a few days new growth appears.

After two or more cuttings pull the roots and replant.

The rainy weather of late has been marvelous for the garden greens but not for the basil or hot season crops.  Adapting to it is the challenge this month as June can be more like June-uary !

My recipe today is for grilled sirloin and mesclun salad with potatas bravas and grilled onion rings.

One good size sirloin steak cut thickly feeds two with some left over for lunch.

One washed bowl of mescluns patted dry not spun, as I found the spinner a bit harsh on these tender greens.
have ready the balsamic vinegar and organic extra virgin olive oil for tossing just before plating.

For the steak:
pre-heat cast iron griddle or BBQ heated
1 lb. top sirloin brought to room temperature
1 1/2 T organic tamari
2T fresh snipped thyme
fresh cracked pepper

This goes against every rule in the book but is tried and true.  Lay the steak in a tray large enough for the steak and pour the tamari in.  With a fork or filleting knife poke holes all over both sides of the steak and soak in the tamari and sprinkle generously with the thyme as well as fresh cracked pepper and let stand. 
Meanwhile prepare the potatoes and garnish.

Potatas Bravas or Spanish Potatoes
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks and patted dry
1 T grapeseed oil
1 T paprika
salt and pepper

Toss the potatoes in the grapeseed oil and paprika sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread into a baking tray and bake at 375 F oven 25 minutes or until golden and fork tender.

For the garnish:
6 fresh radishes
1 large yellow onion, peeled and slice across into 1/2" rings
1/2 t grapeseed oil
salt and pepper
Brush with oil and season.

To cook the steak and garnish:

With the griddle hot but not smoking or the bbq on medium high cook one side of the steak for 5 minutes then turn and continue cooking the other side for 5 minutes.  Gives a medium rare steak.  Adjust cooking to your personal preferences.  At the same time you have placed the onion rings to the ends or side of the cooking surface and turned them at approximately the same time as the steak.

Remove the steak and turn off the heat.  Let stand on cutting board tented for a good 5 minutes.  Prepare the greens with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, toss with fresh herbs and salt and pepper.  Plate the greens, surround the salad with the potatoes.  Slice the steak thinly across the grain on a slight angle and top the greens with the hot steak.  Garnish with the radish and onion rings.

go be delicious

LA ooxx


Sharlene T. said...

Yum, yum. You're right. There is nothing better than biting into a freshly harvested green or vegetable just 20 minutes from the garden. No way to describe it. It has to be done to be understood. Pure heaven. Looking forward to more posts...Come visit when you can...

Frank Ritcey said...

Thanks for the informative post and incredible photos. Makes for a really great read.

lostpastremembered said...

I miss my garden more than I can say for all the reasons you mention. Just being able to walk out and pull dinner is... too good to be true! Lovely salad and recipe!

powderate said...

Dear Sharlene, the additional beauty of plenty is that we can share the extra that even a small patch provides. The fact that my yard is now a focal point for passers by to view and enjoy adds to the satisfaction.

powderate said...

Dear Frank, you are most welcome. Nice that we can share bits of our lives this way. Glad you enjoyed the post ... are you a gardener?

powderate said...

Dear Deanna, when I ached for a garden I'd tell myself "if you don't have a garden camp at one." The natural world is still my favorite garden and as it is June our annual wild rose tour is soon. Yes... the rose absolute standing high on the shelf waiting in reverence to be lavished upon ... along with the wild rose buds. Oh so rosy!